This study sought to find out the social structures and the underlying norms, attitudes and behaviours that obstruct girls’ empowerment and participation in formal education, in Kilifi County. Notably, Kilifi County makes a significant contribution to the Kenyan economy through tourism. However, a majority of its locals languish in poverty and hold onto retrogressive cultural practices that negatively influence education. The study used a total of 220 informants, including school girls, boys, head teachers, teachers and parents. Interviews, observation, FGDs and whole class mapping activities were used to generate data. Findings indicate that sexual intercourse was a reality among school girls. In conclusion, early sex is a deeply rooted cultural practice among girls in Kilifi that has negative implications to education for sustainable development. The paper recommends working on safety of school compounds, sensitizing communities on implications of early sex and initiating income generating activities for families among other things.
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